On its 78th anniversary, IICA strengthens cooperation ties with the Government of Costa Rica
San Jose, 8 October 2020 (IICA). The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign and Religious Affairs renewed their general technical cooperation agreement for two years, with a view to sharing institutional best practices, managing knowledge and developing innovative joint initiatives that will enable both entities to address the challenges and demands of the current environment.
The cooperation agreement was signed by Rodolfo Solano, Minister of Foreign and Religious Affairs, and by Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, at an event at the Casa Amarilla, the Headquarters of the Ministry, in commemorating the 78th anniversary of the establishment of the specialized international agency for agriculture and rurality.
During the ceremony, Minister Solano underscored the value of IICA and its long-standing service to the agriculture sector of the Americas, emphasizing its critical role, which has become more evident during the current pandemic.
“Agriculture continues to be essential and the current global emergency has confirmed that”, he maintained. “Many activities have had to be cut back or interrupted, triggering social and economic consequences, but not food production. IICA’s role, now and in the wake of the pandemic, is important and will become increasingly so. Its knowledge and cooperation efforts will be called on to serve as a key component of the recovery process”.
The Minister argued that IICA is more than an institution or a building, but “is a forum where we come together and is one that creates opportunities that allow us to adopt a forward-looking approached to the challenges that we face”.
The Director General of the Institute reaffirmed IICA’s intention to revalidate its existence and to innovate to continue addressing the demands and needs of its Member States, in pursuit of a more productive, inclusive, resilient, and environmentally-friendly agriculture sector, as it has done since its creation in 1942.
Otero recalled that, “IICA was born during a global emergency – the Second World War. Today, when we are also facing an international health and economic crisis, we must work together to innovate and harness all our creativity to find solutions from the agriculture sector, even with limited resources.
“The agreement with the Ministry of Foreign and Religious Affairs should serve as an instrument to drive change and to project cooperation assistance during the current situation and in its immediate aftermath”, he said. “We are committed to address any needs that the Ministry may have in the areas that you propose and in keeping with our capacities”.
This partnership with IICA, which was first established in May 2019, has enabled diplomats from Costa Rica’s Ministry of Foreign and Religious Affairs to receive training in areas such as “Global Sustainable Development Agreements and their Implications for the Agriculture Sector” and “Status and Trends – Coffee Production in Latin America”, through the Institute’s e-learning platform and the Ministry’s Manuel María Peralta Diplomatic Institute.
Both institutions are also exploring joint initiatives and mechanisms, on a continuous basis, to foster triangular and horizontal cooperation.
During the agreement renewal ceremony, Minister Solano expressed an interest in creating a Fab Lab in the coming months, with IICA’s support, similar to the lab that the Institute had established at its San Jose Headquarters. The Lab specializes in management and technological innovation for the agriculture sector and was the product of a joint initiative between IICA and Costa Rica’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT), as well as partners, such as the country’s Superintendency of Telecommunications (SUTEL) and the National Telecommunications Fund (FONATEL).
To mark the signing of the agreement and the celebration of IICA’s anniversary, the Minister and Director General planted a Yellow Elder tree together in the Ministry’s “Plazoleta de la Libertad”.
In closing, the Minister remarked that, “We are planting this tree as a symbol of the cooperation between our country and IICA. We hope that, like our relationship, it will grow to be robust and radiant, as a testimony to the strength of our linkages”.
Institutional Communication Division, IICA.